London (change)
Today 9°C / 8°C
Tomorrow 10°C / 9°C
26/03/2014 at 09:34

No matter how many times I say it, I can't seem to get the message through.

Sweet peas are extremely hardy and will not be affected by frosts....of course, if they have been made tender by over-coddling, then they may need hardening-off prior to being planted out.

Louise, don't put the tops on your boxes unless you have already been doing this recently.

Not often I agree with Monty Don, but he was spot on when sowing his SP seed the other week i.e. sow the seed in pots, bung em in the cold-frame, then leave em there until planting-out time.....job done!

26/03/2014 at 14:10

I have sown a few different sweet peas.

sir jimmy shand,

castle of mey, 

flying the flag

and some seeds I collected from last year.

Not all have germinated. I mostly put three seeds to a pot. But I'm happy with what's there apart from one variety.

Flying the Flag has germinated. They were all bought at the same time and stored the same way and sowed at the same time.

I'm a novice at this gardening game. Is there still time for the seed to germinate? 

 

26/03/2014 at 14:49

sorry david we're all scared of frost ! funnily enough heather, i planted blue velvet, painted lady, spencer mix, albutt blue and incense mix, only 3 incense mix have germinated

26/03/2014 at 15:00

Its that time of year, my autumn sown sweet peas are ready to go in at the end of my bean trench. Helps attract the bees and they look fantastic.

They're nicely hardened off but the wind is a bit harsh at the moment so will probably wait till the weekend now.

26/03/2014 at 16:54

Heather - SP seed normally takes 7 to 21 days to germinate, some may take a few days longer. After this time (unless there other seedlings in the pot) take a pencil or something similar and have a little probe into the compost to see if anymore are sprouting below the surface....careful not to break-off any tiny shoots.

26/03/2014 at 22:28

Thanks David, I will do that in the morning. 

26/03/2014 at 22:37

Hello all  David, you are VERY  patient! However in Rosemummy's defence, most seedlings would get killed by frost with the minority not doing and I must admit to being a bit anxious too.  However, mine have been planted out for a week or so now and we have had 3 nights of frost, and they are doing really well.......so it goes to show David is right (which we knew all along, it was ourselves we were doubting!!).

They will be fine Louise (sorry - Rose ).

27/03/2014 at 08:06

thanks david and orchid lady! it's when one is a novice that cinofidence is low  david i have been leaving lids on overnight, more to keep slugs away as haven't had time to prepare deterrants they'll go in at weekend if i'm allowed a couple of hours, i do hope i've cleared 2nd site eonough dug up big lump of crocosmia and some daisy type flowers that flowered august overtaken large area ended up on my bum a few times roots are ling and deep hope i've got enough out to allow sps to flower properly

27/03/2014 at 09:38

Tracey & Louise - believe me, I do understand how confusing it must be to absorb all these do's & don'ts of gardening. Unfortunately sweet peas is one of your choices that will be totally ruined by too much TLC. In fact, cold  frost is their friend......it makes  them strong and robust.  I also understand that you may want to figure things out for yourselves and  succeed through trial & error and we have all done that.

As for my 'help'....all I can say is that I've being doing this on these forums now for about the past 10 years and have had many messages of thanks from people who have succeeded where they had previously failed.  

27/03/2014 at 09:51

Could I just add to my previous post?

A couple of years ago while visiting a sweet pea exhibition, a lady (who knew I would be there) took the trouble to visit the Eagle SP stand and ask the owner if he had seen me as she would like to say hello. Derek (Mr Eagle) found me and introduced us.

We had a cup of tea together, had a good chat and she thanked me for all the help I had given her & others......how nice was that. 

27/03/2014 at 19:13

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/40819.jpg?width=276&height=350&mode=max

 A few of my sweet peas, coming along nicely on the veg patch, I have them all round this 'quarter'.  I will be putting some netting up next weekend for them 

28/03/2014 at 00:48

Just twigged that OL is you, Tracey! I would have put my netting up first. I did like you a couple of yrs ago, then trod on some when the dog barked beside me and gave me a fright! Most recovered eventually, but I was so mad!

I have done two batches (didn't get time to do all at once), in deep paper pots. I germinated the first batch on heated prop at end of feb, then slung them straight into cold frame. Wide open in day, then partly open at night as the wind tried to wreck the top a couple of times! They are now nearly ready to pinch out. Last batch I did last wk in cold conservatory, as no room left in prop. They are slower in showing me any shoots, but I'm sure they will soon. All going out as soon as tall enough. Thinking of taking the first lot out of the frame tomorrow, as need the space. 

Incidentally, I have some spare fuchsias in the frame too, that weren't so great last year, but showed some better growth later on. I put them in the frame over winter (the better ones got mollycoddled in the GH), and although supposed to be tender ones, they are just as happy as the SP's and, caulis and young strawberries. They have thrived from neglect, so perhaps we spoil too many of our plants? I have also moved my toms into the GH this wk, and they seem to be doing fine with a propagator top on at night. (the GH is bubble-wrapped)

So, David, I am treating most of my plants meaner this yr. I think many can stand more cold than we are led to believe, provided kept dry and out of nasty cold winds.

28/03/2014 at 08:07

Hi Jeannie, sorry I'm confusing everyone, I did put a thread on saying 

My netting will just get staple to the fencing so should be ok....I hope, and the hounds aren't allowed on the veg patch, they will just sit on the other side if the fence looking at me 

28/03/2014 at 08:16

that's nice david, always nice to know you're appreciated..you are!! def planting out this weekend want sites well prepared,  got bean sticks,grit and slug pubsready, love the pistachio nut tip, will get some and scoff them asap!

28/03/2014 at 09:13

Bless you, Tracy.....how sweet is that?

You've added a ickle twig-stake to each of your plants and even tied them....now that's dedication.  When I suggested twiggy bits, I thinking of *bushy twiggy bits. However, it has to be said that they're looking much better than when they were in the garage. 

*Silver birch are good.

Thinking about it, this coddling (as I call it) seems to be a woman maternal thing.

PS, Looking more closely, perhaps they weren't tied.

28/03/2014 at 09:18
David K wrote (see)

Bless you, Tracy.....how sweet is that?

You've added a ickle twig-stake to each of your plants and even tied them....now that's dedication.  When I suggested twiggy bits, I thinking of *bushy twiggy bits. However, it has to be said that they're looking much better than when they were in the garage. 

*Silver birch are good.

Thinking about it, this coddling (as I call it) seems to be a woman maternal thing.

Not if the woman grew up on a farm where field peas were drilled in the autumn and rolled with a heavy roller as soon as they had three sets of leaves (equivalent of pinching out) and then left to withstand the worst that the winter and the woodpigeons could throw at them - I know peas are tough 

 

28/03/2014 at 09:30

Me too, Dove.....(well didn't grow up on a farm) but spent much of my childhood & teens on one. Even had a partnership in a poultry farm later......but that's another story.

I suppose a case in point was illustrated in last night's 'lambing live' on tv. They were quite robust in the delivery of those young lambs and would imagine viewers being concerned.....but the truth remains, they are tough little blighters & the best was being done for them. 

28/03/2014 at 10:06

No, they are tied David, I consciously didn't tie them in case they thought they were being mollycoddled too much  They were all the twiggy bits I could find, next year I will go hunting for bigger twiggy bits when people are chopping tress/bushes etc.

I have just put coffee grounds and egg shells round them all too, they've got to have their breakfast 

They are looking better and you may able to just see the new shoots at the bottom 

28/03/2014 at 10:29

I can't be doing with stuff that needs coddled and sweet peas are perfect because they are so easy. Slugs and snails are always a problem here but get the birds in and they solve that issue most of the time.   That's why I don't grow loads of perennials either, unless they're tough. Might as well put a sign up and an arrow - free dinner here...

I don't really have enough time for fussy plants of any kind in my garden. If they don't grow - they go. 

28/03/2014 at 11:25
Orchid Lady wrote (see)

They were all the twiggy bits I could find, next year I will go hunting for bigger twiggy bits when people are chopping tress/bushes etc.

Ah, but next year they won't be leggy, so you'll not need them.